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The Worth of GoodsValuation and Pricing in the Economy$
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Jens Beckert and Patrik Aspers

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199594641.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 April 2021

Price and Prejudice

Price and Prejudice

On Economics and the Enchantment (and Disenchantment) of Nature

Chapter:
(p.40) (p.41) 2 Price and Prejudice
Source:
The Worth of Goods
Author(s):

Marion Fourcade

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199594641.003.0002

This chapter explores the complex relationship between economic valuation and moral values. Focusing on the civil lawsuits that followed the oil spills in Alaska, it considers the question of how to assess the destroyed value in animal and plant life: ‘goods’ that were never intended to be evaluated economically or to be traded in a market. Focusing on the natural environment at Prince William Sound, the location of the oil spill, it shows how environmental damages can be translated into a measure of economic value. It demonstrates that economic theory is part of the technology used to evaluate the worth of the natural environment. The chapter also examines the general disconnection between market prices and other forms of worth, whether objective or subjective, along with the sociological and economic factors that prevent the market mechanism from functioning. Finally, it discusses the legal production of economic values and the cultural ambivalence about the measuring rod of money.

Keywords:   economic valuation, moral values, civil lawsuits, oil spills, Alaska, natural environment, environmental damages, economic value, market prices, money

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